I-League 2017: Bengaluru FC look to regain ground against debutants Minerva Punjab

Bengaluru: Looking to bounce back from a slump in form, defending champions Bengaluru FC take on debutants Minerva Punjab in a home fixture of I-League at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.

Bengaluru have been going through a mid-season slump but they are back at home after a tough away journey where they failed to register a single win in three games.

Minerva Punjab, on the other hand, have come here with a morale-boosting win and a draw back home.

File photo of CK Vineeth. PTI

File photo of CK Vineeth. PTI

Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca agreed that his team was down for now, but fortunate that the slump has happened at an early stage of the league, so there's enough time to retrieve and come back in the title race.

"We need to keep fighting because that's the first thing we need to do. It is all about mentality and positive attitude and we are prepared for the game. We are eager to win," stated the Spaniard.

The steelmen received a jolt in the absence of central defender duo of John Johnson and Juanan, who are out for tomorrow's match owing to suspension by the AIFF disciplinary committee after their away game against Churchill Brothers.

"I'm confident about the players who will be there tomorrow on the pitch. We have to face the situation, which at present, might not be in our favour. We have to be there and try to do our best," Roca said.

Bengaluru are yet to find a replacement of Roby Norales, who, after having a short stint with the 'Blues', was loaned out to Ozone FC. Roca is hopeful about getting the fourth foreigner's slot filled next week.

After collecting a point in their game against Chennai City FC, Minerva Punjab FC had a dry run in their next three fixtures. The team has finally got some momentum after a draw and a much-needed win over Mumbai FC.

Minerva coach Surinder Singh said, "My team is doing well and slowly coming together. We are looking for a positive result."

"Even a draw would do for us, considering this is our away match. Something is always better than nothing," quipped the Minerva coach.

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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2017 14:34:29 IST

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